NarraPulse

Useful Apps in Japan

May 02 , 2021 by: Leah Martin

Japan is known for its incredible culture and excellent practices which makes it one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. Besides having breathtaking nature sceneries, they have one of the best technology, especially in electronics. It’s no surprise that app development is advanced as well.

Cooking

If you are an avid home-cooked fan, Kitchhike might be one of the best apps for you in Japan. It was founded by two Japanese who aim to connect local cuisine and local people with foreigners and travelers. Surely it is not limited to only globe trotters, you can use the website even if you are a local. After registration, cooks can register their dishes; for users who are interested in the dishes, simply choose a dish and schedule a time with the cook through the messaging function. It has dishes from a few countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand, Phillippines, and Korea.

Shopping Deals

To make sure you get the best shopping deals in time, Shufoo is developed to help shoppers view leaflets at department stores, supermarkets, etc for free. Although the function is relatively simple I think the app is important especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where the opening hours for stores might sometimes alter or some products lack supply. [Shufoo] hopes to help these businesses by providing a free platform to connect between their services and consumers.

Environmental Services

We all know the streets of Japan are one of the clearest in the world. For sure, the Japanese are making an effort to maintain the hygiene of their city. ThreeR is free to download to provide users with different functions of the garbage collection system. The app has a guide on how to properly dispose of the different categories of garbage. If you are skeptical about some items there is a “search” function to help you. A calendar reminds you of the garbage collection days and you can receive up-to-date announcements related to garbage from the government.

Three R on Google Play

Three R on App Store

Besides having distinct hygiene practices, Japan prides itself on sustainable technology and inspires other countries to follow in the country’s footsteps. MyMizu collaborates with businesses like cafes and convenience stores to provide free water refills for people who bring their bottles. They aim to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced in Japan. This is indeed a great tool for everyone, especially cyclists. Instead of buying a plastic bottle, they can simply check the app to locate a spot for refilling their bottle. Very convenient indeed. To use it, just download the free app and open it whenever you need a refill. The app will show you the nearest location that has a water fountain or a registered business that helps you fill your bottle for free. And if you would like to share a newly discovered water station, you can include it in the app with just a few clicks.

MyMizu on Google Play

MyMizu on App Store

Japanese alley. Photo by Kanenori on Pixabay

Public Washrooms

When it comes to public restrooms, most of us would think of them as dirty and torture for our noses. But this does not happen in Japan. Check A Toilet gives information on nearby public washrooms and nursing rooms. The information is edited by the public- meaning everyone can add or remove the locations of restrooms. When in need, just open the app and it automatically locates the nearest washroom. A search box allows you to search other locations for planning. Note that each restroom has a name, which is created by the person who added it into the app so it might not be the real name of the restroom. The bad thing is that an active internet connection is required so you might need a SIM card or roaming.

Check A Toilet on App Store

 

Commute

In 2019, Typhoon Faxai hit Tokyo so badly the train lines were forced to close temporarily, many commuters were stranded in the station for hours. In hopes to prepare better for the next big hit, [EMot] is developed by Odakyu Electric Railway that shows users how congested are the stations by displaying figures to represent commuters. This way, users can easily determine if it is a good time to use the station. Besides that, the app allows you to combine different means of public transport you prefer to get to your destination. It then redirects you to the website or app of the service provider so that you can make reservations. Great news for shoppers: the app has a privilege e-ticket that gives you a mobility service for free if you spend a certain amount on shopping.

 

Although Japan is already a wonderful place, hopefully, these apps can help you a little and boost your experience in the country.

 

 

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